Exodus 20:12 (NKJV)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Standing on the side of a hospital bed comfortably sandwiched between two bunk beds in a second floor apartment, I heard the most profound statement.
One of my teens from church that is unreservedly fighting for his life, rested under a Spiderman blanket sipping water through a straw and talking after a few swallows. His body is emaciated and each word that loosely falls from his lips is barely over a whisper. Despite his physical condition, his heart and attitude are stronger than Floyd Mayweather in an unfair fight.
The boy’s father and mother are also in the room with me when he asks for us to unite hands in prayer. The teen boy directs his father to hold his hand. As the warmth of his father’s hand pressed into his son’s hand, the boy admits to his dad, “You are the strongest man I know - next to God.”
His dad isn’t a millionaire nor is he the cover model for a muscle magazine. Yet, the fact that he is consistently in his son’s life, taking care of him, praying with him, and loving on him, his strength is beyond measure.
As a parent, I want my son to see me that way. I want to be his picture of strength. I used to hang from my dad’s arm as a child and marvel at his strength but I was more impressed by his love. It doesn’t matter how many hours you spend in the gym, how many supplements you take, or how powerful you are as a business professional. Your strength as a dad, a parent, or caregiver is in your compassion and love.
The young boy’s mom told me something also while I was visiting. She expressed that her son has outlived many other youth who carry her son’s same sickness. I now believe that that boy’s strength to survive is in God as well as in the way he honors his parents who love God and have given him a reason to live.
Your love helps your children live!